Friday, February 02, 2007

Air India identifies cargo business as major revenue-stream

Mumbai: With India's surging two-way trade now estimated at $250 billion, Air India has identified air cargo business as a major revenue-stream for the future and will foray into it in a big way with a fleet of 15 aircrafts.
Air India's Chairman V Thulasidas told PTI here that India's flag-carrier is already in the process of converting two of its Airbus 310 aircrafts into cargo carriers.
With the company acquiring 68 new Boeing aircrafts, it will convert two 747-300s into cargo carriers. It has six more A-310s, which it proposes to convert in a phased manner.
Thulasidas said that after the proposed merger of Air India and Indian, five Boeing 737-200 aircrafts, now with Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Indian, will also be converted into cargo carriers.
Once these plans fructify, the merged airline will have a reasonably large cargo fleet to cater to varying distances and destinations.
"We have identified air cargo business as a major revenue stream for us going forward," he said.
Air India is currently in the process of implementing its $9 billion fleet expansion programme, for which it has tied-up a $7-billion Line of Credit with ABN Amro.
02/02/07 PTI/The Hindu